A violent robber who stabbed a taxi driver has been jailed – thanks in no small part to the powerful nose of a highly trained police dog.
Gary Pearson, 34, attacked the man in Melbourne Road, Stapleford, in the early hours of Thursday 3 December 2020.
Pearson climbed into the victim’s cab posing as a normal customer, before holding a knife to his throat and demanding money.
A struggle ensued during which the driver sustained a stab wound to his ribs and a cut to his face.
Pearson fled the scene but was sniffed out shortly afterwards by a police dog guided by the scent from a woolly hat he had left at the scene.
The animal, Police Dog Reno, led officers to the window of a nearby ground floor flat. Entry was gained and Pearson was arrested on suspicion of robbery.
Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday he pleaded guilty to charges of robbery, wounding with intent, possessing a bladed article and damaging property.
Pearson, of Nottingham, was sentenced to ten years in prison and will spend an additional four years on licence when he is finally released.
The driver was taken to hospital but was not seriously injured.
Detective Chief Inspector Kim Binns, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was a brazen and frightening knife-point robbery that could easily have been a lot worse for the victim.
“Pearson posed as a typical customer as he climbed inside and sat in the back seat, even engaging in the kind of small talk that is typical of most taxi journeys.
“He then held a knife to his victim’s neck in an attempt to steal just a small amount of cash. For that cowardly, impulsive but ultimately futile act he will now spent a very considerable amount of time behind bars.
“Faced with the overwhelming evidence against him I am pleased that Pearson has accepted his guilt and hope he will use his time in prison to change the direction of his life.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the fantastic work at the scene by Police Dog Reno and his handler. Thanks to bit of quick-thinking and one very powerful nose we were quickly able to track down a violent and dangerous offender and bring him into custody.”